Humans have grown domesticated wheat for about 11,000 years. It was a cornerstone of the transition from hunting and gathering to sedentary, agricultural societies. Today, about 220 million hectares (554 million acres) are growing it worldwide. We wonder: Which country devotes the most land area to wheat cultivation today?
Humans have consumed animal milk for the past 8,000-10,000 years. Prehistoric production – for milk, cheeses, butter and more – typically followed domestication of the animals for meat. Cows are one of the biggest sources of dairy. We wonder: Which country is the world’s largest producer of whole milk from cows?
For most of human history, time was reckoned or measured based on the local position of the sun. This varied by season and from one region of a country to another. Eventually, more standardized systems were introduced. We wonder: How many time zones today are in the world’s largest country, Russia?
While some regions of the world are grappling with the social and economic challenges of a “youth bulge,” other regions are facing the challenges of an aging population. We wonder: What is the median age of all the people alive on earth today?
Beer likely dates as far back as humans have grown cereal crops. Thousands of years after people first fermented grain into beer, the world population drank 184.8 billion liters of it in 2016. It is the most popular alcoholic beverage by a wide margin. We wonder: In which country do people consume the most beer?
The oldest winery was discovered in Armenia and dates back to 4,000 BC. Some 6,000 years later, 242 million hectoliters (hl) of it was consumed worldwide in 2016. We wonder: In which country of the world do people consume the most wine?
In April 2017, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide were measured at 410 parts per million. That threshold was passed likely for the first time in 3 million years. We wonder: Which major country is closest to the global average of five tons of CO2 emissions per person?
Over the last 200 years, human height has steadily increased. This phenomenon can largely be explained by rising living standards and resulting improvements in health and nutrition. We wonder: Which country has the tallest average male height in the world?
Fiber-optic high-speed internet transmits information as light pulses. It is a key tool for 21st century internet commerce and innovations like self-driving cars. We wonder: Which country is about to have the highest percentage of fiber-optic coverage among its broadband customers?
Donald Trump is adamantly pursuing a strategy focused on economic nationalism. He proclaims that foreign countries “continue putting up barriers in front of our exports” and that it is “very hard to export to their countries.” We wonder: Among the four major countries below, can you name the one country that does not rank as one of top three export markets for U.S. goods?